Steve McClaren warns Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that Cristiano Ronaldo’s return will ‘make or break’ the Man United boss as he claims Portugal star is ‘the solution but also the problem’
- Steve McClaren says Cristiano Ronaldo will ‘make or break’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- Ronaldo has scored nine goals in 13 appearances since returning to Old Trafford
- McClaren stresses that it’s important Solskjaer uses Ronaldo in the correct way
Steve McClaren believes that Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the club will either ‘make or break’ Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United have lacked consistency this season, with Solskjaer receiving a considerable amount of criticism from pundits and supporters following recent results, which have a 2-0 loss to Liverpool and a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Former England boss McClaren was assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson when United won the treble in 1999.
Steve McClaren has warned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that Cristiano Ronaldo’s return will ‘make or break’ him
Ronaldo has scored nine goals in 13 appearances since he returned to Manchester United
Ronaldo, who enjoyed an impressive spell at United between 2003 and 2009, returned to Old Trafford at the end of the summer transfer window as he left Juventus.
McClaren feels that signing players such as Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, who have both enjoyed much success throughout their careers, will increase the pressure on Solskjaer to get positive results.
‘I remember walking into that dressing room and every one of them at Manchester United, [Peter] Schmeichel all the way through to [Ryan] Giggs in that one to 11, even the likes of Phil Neville, [Nicky] Butt, Scholesy [Paul Scholes] those players on the fringes had won things so they knew how to win things.
‘He [Solskjaer]’s brought Ronaldo and Varane – Ronaldo especially – he knows how to win. What he’s got to do, he’s having from what I hear such an influence in that dressing room, he’s number one and they’re looking at him.
‘If he doesn’t have a dessert for dinner, the rest of the players don’t have a dessert for dinner so he’s got the followers.’
So far this season Ronaldo has scored nine goals in 13 games for United, which has included late interventions against Villarreal and Atalanta in the Champions League.
McClaren added that Ronaldo reminds him of Roy Keane with regards to how he inspires his United team-mates.
McClaren believes that it is vitally important that Solskjaer handles Ronaldo correctly
However, McClaren warned that, while it is a huge benefit to have Ronaldo in the team, it also represents a problem as the 36-year-old has to be handled correctly.
Furthermore, McClaren stated that Solskjaer is still searching for the correct balance with Ronaldo in the team.
He said: ‘You see from his body language, you saw it from the game against Atalanta, he’s driving the team on, it’s reminding me a little bit like Roy Keane.’
‘He was more vocal, direct, honest but I see that body language that I need more from these players, we’ve got to do more. Bringing in a person into the dressing room like that can make or break you. He can do the job, he can do it.
‘What you have to do is use him, he’s the solution but he’s also the problem, if you don’t handle him right then that can be a problem for the manager.
In 1999 McClaren was assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson as United went on to win the treble
‘There’s various ways to do it, integrate Ronaldo into the team so that they play as a team. In the present moment they’re not playing as a team.
‘When you look at Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City you can see a team, an identity in the way they’re playing, Ole bringing Ronaldo in as the number nine is searching for that formula.’
United are currently in sixth place in the Premier League and return to action after the international break with an away game against Watford.
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